Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County in the case of Edward H. Fincher v. The Township of Middlesex, John A. Rodgers, Edward Mitchell and Matthew T. Hawkins, Supervisors, No. A.D. No. 7, March Term, 1974, Book 101, Page 447.
C. Grainger Bowman, McNees, Wallace & Nurick, for appellant.
Richard L. McCandless, Dillon, McCandless, King & Kemper, for appellees.
Judges Mencer, MacPhail and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer. This decision was reached prior to the expiration of the term of office of Judge Palladino.
[ 64 Pa. Commw. Page 356]
This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Butler County which dismissed the zoning appeal of Edward H. Fincher (appellant) from a decision of the Township of Middlesex (Township) which denied his application for a conditional use. We affirm.
The appellant is the owner of a mobile home park in the Township. The park was established before the enactment of any zoning ordinance. Upon the enactment of the Township's first zoning ordinance,*fn1 on
[ 64 Pa. Commw. Page 357]
February 1, 1971, the park was found to be situated in a district zoned as "Agricultural A." The Township has never enacted a subdivision and land development ordinance pursuant to the power granted in Section 501 of the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (Code), 53 P.S. § 10501.*fn2
On October 29, 1972, the appellant obtained a 90-day option to purchase a 50-acre tract adjacent to his park, known as the Thompson Farm. The option was made conditional upon the appellant's ability to secure the Township's approval to utilize the Thompson Farm as a mobile home park and upon his ability to satisfy all pertinent municipal ordinances relating to mobile home parks. Pursuant to exercising the option, the appellant retained a consulting engineer to prepare a mobile home park plan for submission to the
[ 64 Pa. Commw. Page 358]
Township authorities. On December 19, 1972, the appellant submitted a preliminary plan for 141 mobile home lots on the 50-acre tract to the Township of Middlesex Planning Commission (Commission) and requested that the Commission grant it preliminary approval.
The Commission granted preliminary approval to the appellant's plan on January 31, 1973, "subject to meeting all State Act [ sic ] Rules and Regulations, and all Middlesex Township Ordinances and any other regulations that apply." Thereafter, the appellant exercised the option. At a subsequent Commission meeting, on April 23, 1973, the appellant submitted his final plan for the Commission's approval. At that time, the Commission informed him that the plan's approval was subject to the conditional use provisions of the Township's zoning ...